HOOKED BY NIR EYAL

In the last decade, the business and technology worlds have become controlled with the science of the mind. The thinking goes as follows: if we understand the mind, in all its involution, we can manipulate and control it to produce the business objectives we want. While this may seem like a new change, made possible by recent advances in psychology, “big data”, and neuroscience, it is, in fact, the rebirth of a line of psychological captivation that dates back at least 70 years.

In the result of World War II, psychology became possessed with behavior and mind control. The question was: How could frightening people like Mussolini and Hitler manipulate so many people? This led to research on hypnosis, brainwashing, and, in general, the dark side of humanity. When the Cold War began, this research fully efflorescence resulting in now-famous experiments like the Milgram Authority Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment. While some of this research was challenging to marketers, it wasn’t really relevant to concrete business problems.

However, now, in the early 2000s, the rise of Behavioral Economics has prelate in a new phase of business-minded behavior science, and psychology books with concrete applications are popular once again. The moral and good side of behavior design is convergent on in these works, and the victory of the psychological sciences in rage has positive outcomes has been called out: increasing the number of organ donors, increasing medication compliance, increasing consumer savings, and so on. One of the latest books in this argumentation is Nir Eyal’s “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products”. In the book, he sum-up what he calls “The Hook Model”. It’s a simple four-phase model that explains the basic process of habit formation:

  1. Trigger Behavior
  2. Perform Action
  3. Variable Reward for Action
  4. Commitment to Product

 

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